American food wish list for future visits

My list of restaurants, stores and bakeries to visit, and dishes to try, in the States.


Iowa pork tenderloin sandwich
Chop Suey sandwich
Chicago beef
Rhode Island clam pizza

Egg & peppersa sandwich
Santa Maria tri-tip
Date shake
Frozen custard

An Ohio fish fry during Lent


I’ll have to check the places I’ve been following on Instagram

Of the top of my head:
Le Grenouille
Lotus of Siam ( I have never been to Vegas)
Waffle House


I’m overdue for a visit to NYC
I plan to visit Astoria and Brighton Beach,
Also, my cousin moved to Jersey City and I think I will check out some parts of NJ closer to her on the next visit.

Holland, Michigan (I’m just curious)


Some of these sound very valid (Lotus of Siam and frozen custard, for example) but I have to say that some of them sound, well, not worth the effort. Chop suey sandwich? Waffle House (bleh)? And I’m not sure what’s different/better about Lenten fish fry in Ohio vs. (for instance) southern Louisiana, a very historically Catholic area where Lenten fish fry is a huge tradition. Southern Louisiana is also a fantastic place to eat a lot of things you won’t get in other parts of the US, by the way.

Pistols at dawn.


Although I will never again eat at a Waffle House, there is one interesting fact about the chain. They have a dedicated emergency response unit that they dispatch immediately to reopen any of their stores that have been closed by a natural (or other) disaster, and the local Waffle House is often among the first businesses to reopen after hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. Right after Hurricane Ida, as Mr. travelmad478 and I were pinballing from one evacuation location to another while waiting for the power to come back on at our house in New Orleans, we ran into the Waffle House disaster response crew at a hotel in Gulfport, MS. I talked to them and heard the whole story, including the existence of the “Waffle House index” as a gauge of the severity of disasters.


Thats a lot of traveling.

There was a day I’d have said yep, go to Sonic. Not any more. It is a flicker of its former self and if Im going to spend $15 on a mediocre burger it better be on a table.


Thanks for your input.
I live in Canada, and another poster mentioned she would be interested in hearing about my list of foods I want to try.

I haven’t been to Louisiana since 1998, and I didn’t go during Lent. I don’t think I will ever visit Louisiana during Lent.

Ohio is a 2 hour drive from where I live. That’s why it’s likely I will try a fish fry in Ohio. Plus, I like Lake Erie yellow perch a lot more than I like catfish.

Catfish is one of my 3 least favourite finfishes. Catfish, basa and tilapia. Blech. I have enjoyed some blackened redfish, and other fish in the South, I realize it’s not all catfish, but I would think the fish fry probably involves catfish.

I loved my week in Louisiana. I still use my 3 cookbooks from Louisiana, and I also have cookbooks from Georgia.

I am not putting down Louisiana by saying I want to visit Ohio. Ohio is more convenient for me.


It won’t be on a single trip. It’s a list of dishes to check off on multiple trips, eventually!

Realistically, when I visit the States, it tends to be 4 days in NYC / Boston/ DC , 4 day road trip to a wedding in Ohio or PA, a 7 to 10 day road trip, or a 7 day ski trip. I’ve made one Alaskan Panhandle Cruise, 2 cross continent train rides, one 13 day trip to Maui, Kauai and Oahu, and multiple March Break road trips and trips for conferences.


I don’t know how I know this, but I know it. Here, for anyone who wants some more info:


America is a big country (almost as big as your Canada).

I am overwhelmed just thinking about your quest.

I don’t have any specific suggestions, except to say that I wish you a big budget and an even bigger stomach.


Christina had mentioned in another thread ( the Waffle House dedicated thread ) ,that she would like to see my list.

I do seek out specific regional dishes when I visit.

I’m mostly curious about dishes other people want to try when they visit various places.

I’m not really too interested in people telling me not to seek out a Chop suey sandwich in Maine or an Iowa pork tenderloin sandwich.

I visited the States a fair amount in the first 46 years of my life. I think I’ve travelled to or through 46 States, and stayed overnight in at least 38 States. I’ll have to look at a map to figure out which states I need to spend more time visiting. I haven’t stayed overnight in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas, or Mississippi. I’ve only spent 2 nights in Wisconsin and Minnesota.


Maryland Blue Crabs with Old Bay Seasoning!!


I love Maryland Crab, especially crabcakes. I order crabcakes in all the states that make good crabcakes.


I have had the chop suey sandwich from the Salem Lowes
And was sorry to hear it was closing.
But one was enough for me. Glad I tried it though and I hope you can find one in your travels.

One and done for me in my travels include blood (black) pudding, frogs legs, alligator and rattle snake.
Probably others but those were easy to remember.


I have lots of one and done dishes, too! More in Europe than in the States!

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I guess I will have to make my own Salem Chop Suey Sandwich

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When you’re in Ohio (born & grew up there) I hope you try Cincinnati Chili if you have not had that already. And I whole-heartedly agree with you about lake perch! It was the only fish I ever knew until I married a guy from Massachusetts and moved here with him.


Yes, I’ve tried it! A former Chowhound sent me a t shirt and a sweatshirt that had a picture of a Cincinnati 3 Way on it :joy:
I’ll link Gastro Obscura for other people’s reference.


For a media noche, i strongly suggest you come to Florida. Tampa is the home of the Cuban, but Miami serves up a great medianoche (and a bocadito of coffee!!)

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I loved my very short stay in Miami. We went for Peruvian dinner and a tapas dinner. I wish we had gone for Cuban food. I did enjoy some cortaditos.
I didn’t get to eat in Tampa. I had a good Greek lunch in Tarpon Springs. Greek priest sitting at the next table.